Saturday, April 16, 2011

Four Chili Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Cream Sauce

Serves 4
Difficulty - Easy
Active Prep Time - 15-20 minutes
Cook Time - 15-20 minutes


Four Chili Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Cream and Zucchini Zoodles
 1 Large Poblano Pepper, fresh
2 Serrano Peppers, fresh
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper
1 Habanero Pepper
1 Large Onion
4 Large Cloves Garlic
2 Sprigs Thyme, fresh or 1/4 tsp dried (divided - 1/2 for veg & 1/2 for sauce)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp Coriander, ground
1/2 tsp Cayenne, ground
1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Campari or Roma Tomatoes
1-2 Wedges Lime, fresh squeezed
1/4c Sour Cream
3 oz Extra Dry Vermouth (or dry white wine, or chicken broth, or water)
24 oz (1-1/2 pound) Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
2 oz Feta Cheese
1/4c Cilantro, fresh, chopped

Thaw chicken breasts in a pan of cold water for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from water, butterfly breasts and dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle seasoned breasts with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.

Skin and julienne chilis. Discard capsicum membranes and seed pods. Learn how to skin chiles here!

Cut onion in half and slice in a thin julienne, lengthwise. Slice garlic thinly. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Cut lime into wedges. Assemble spice mixture for chili saute: salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, coriander.

Preheat non-stick or cast iron pan to screechingly hot! (I like using the outside propane grill for this but you can cook it inside. Be sure to turn your exhaust fan on high.)

Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, 1 sprig of thyme into the hot pan and let sautee for a little bit. Now add the onions and cook a couple seconds and close the lid to let them cook quickly.

Add the remaining ingredients – except tomatoes and limes, close the grill and cook for 1 minute. (Oh yeah, I happened to have a little zucchini hanging around, so I julienned it and added it to the veggies. They were awesome and added negligible calories or carbs.)

After 1 minute, stir veggies. Add your spices and close lid to cook one more minute.

Add chicken breasts to the open side of grill. (Hey don’t forget to keep the fire on ignite on both sides of your grill! Now close the lid for 1 minute and let cook.)

Open the lid, stir the veggies and time it for one more minute with the lid up. Go ahead and add your tomatoes to the veggies now. Stir veg again and flip chicken. Close lid and cook 1 minute on ignite. Now open the lid and cook 1 more minute. (You’re at 4 minutes total for the chicken. Bingo!)

Remove the veggies from the grill and finish cooking your meat.

Cook chicken for 3 more minutes on indirect heat by turning off the fire underneath the breasts, but keeping the burner on the opposite side of the grill cranked to high or ignite. Close the lid, set the timer for 3 minutes and have a beer – low carb, of course! (6-7 minutes should be sufficient to cook your chicken, especially when you use the highest heat setting for 4 of those minutes.)

Time to make the Cilantro Cream Pan Sauce. Pan sauces are so delicious and easy. First deglaze your pan with either Extra Dry Vermouth (cheap and resealable – keep it in the pantry), chicken broth, or water.

Scrape the pan to loosen all the browned bits. This is called “fond” and it’s the mother’s milk of flavor!!! Add lime juice. I squeeze one or two wedges into the sauce. Stir the sour cream to incorporate into a creamy sauce. Add chopped cilantro and remove sauce from heat.

Taste sauce and adjust flavor if necessary (add salt or pepper).

To plate, slice the chicken on an angle. Place ¼ of the sauce on the plate. Top with ¼ of the chicken or 4-6oz of cooked breast. Top with ¼ of the chilis. Add 1/2oz Feta cheese and squeeze a little lime over the top. Garnish with more cilantro or avocado if you’d like. You could even add a little sour cream on the side.

Four Chile Grilled Chicken goes great with Zucchini Zoodles!

SusieT's Notes:
This recipe works for almost any meat you can imagine! It's awesome with flank or skirt steak or pork chops - even sliced turkey breast cutlets and firm-fleshed, white fish like snapper work well with it. You can grill up more chiles than you need and refrigerate the leftovers. The chiles are great the next morning on scrambled eggs with cheese or work great as toppings on salads.

Also, I use Feta cheese because I almost always have it in the ice box - unlike cotija or queso fresco (a crumbly, sharp, Mexican cheese that tastes similar to Feta). Feel free to substitute Monterrey Jack or Cheddar Cheese for the Feta if you don't like sharp cheese.

Please don't be put off by the presumed heat of the chiles. They really taste so great!

Find Printable Recipe Here

Nutritional Information for Entire Recipe

Nutritional Information per Single Serving